In the wake of the anniversary of three famous deaths – President Kennedy’s, C.S. Lewis’ and Aldous Huxley’s – there have been a slew of articles in mainstream press about the three men. I find it amusing (and edifying) that all three are united not only in death, but in the fact that they produced Great Fantasy, either in life or in death. I mean what I say: while Huxley and Lewis both wrote fantasy and science fiction to good effect, Kennedy’s death spawned myths and conspiracy theories to rival any novel. And from what I know of at least Lewis and Kennedy, both men also lived out various interesting fantasies on this earth – double lives, triple lives, versions of themselves. Huxley certainly investigated his own fantasies through the use of hallucinogens and managed I think to predict most accurately our own obsessions, now, half a century later. Hug me till you drug me, honey.
So tonight I raise a silent glass to these three men, interesting in different ways. Problematic in different ways. Complicated, complicated creatures. I particularly enjoyed this article on C.S. Lewis. Except I wonder why it doesn’t mention ‘Till We Have Faces.’ It’s my favourite of his novels. You can keep your Narnia and its thundering allegories… I will take Psyche’s older and much uglier sister, thank you.